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Thread: Is this a head light candle power tester?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Western Penna.

    Is this a head light candle power tester?

    This is my second posting of this item to find out what it might be. It is 11" long and 7" in dia. at the open end. It is made by "United Motor Service" and has the name "Compar-O-Meter". It appears to be hand held with the rubber sealed open end placed against the lens of the headlight and the gage which reads from 0 to 1000 tells the candle power of the light. Is there anyone that agrees with me, what are your thoughts? Thank you,John.
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    1918 Buick
    1930 Ford Pickup
    1939 Buick Special [HPOF]
    1951 Frazer Vagabond Sold
    1959 Ford Skyliner [ I.F.R.C. Showcase]
    1959 Ford Skyliner [AACA Senior]
    1959 Ford Sedan
    1968 Mercury Cyclone Sold
    1970 Chevelle

    Member, AACA and International Ford Retractable Club.

  2. #2
    Senior Member F&J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Eastern Connecticut

    Re: Is this a head light candle power tester?

    From Google:

    Do you folks know anything about a Hickock Meter? It was made by United Service Corporation (has diagram of old time car with top down in it's logo. It (the instrument) is called,"COMPAR-O-METER/HICKOCK ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENT COMPANY,CLEVELAND,OHIO. The instrument has graduations on it from 100,300,500,700,900,1000... as near as we can guess it is for adjusting candle power setting for old time auto head lamps.


    Many early cars had magneto head lights, like Ford's 1915 Model "T". You could max the highest RPM and blow the bulbs. The 1928 Model "A" had problems also. A number of companies made a device like this that could control electrical output and this made things work better.

    Well the answer is incorrect as that person had no pic....but had the right train of thought?

    I think it may be used for setting the early car generator cut-out or regulator.

    I think you used that tool to check the CP of each headlight WITH a charged battery, but NOT running (like it is marked).

    Then you'd have a baseline CP so that when you adjust the generator cut-out ( or regulator, or the 3rd brush on certain makes) on an early car with the engine running, you'd know when you have it set too high (if the CP was now much greater?)

    I do recall the old mechanics said to set the cut-out so that you could maintain enough current for headlights, but try not to go much higher, because it would boil the battery during daytime driving with no lights.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re: Is this a head light candle power tester?

    When New York State started their vehicle inspections they used a device like yours. This measured the candlepower output of the headlights and the reading was then used against the requirements to properly light the road. As far as a'15 Ford goes, my first experience with my '15 was when the state trooper, a friend of mine,was doing a "courtesy" check and said the reading was very poor. I opened the throttle and he was shouting "turn them off,turn them off". The needle was pegged! ---Bob

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